Google has established itself as a leader in terms of leveraging new business approaches and strategies to ensure continuous innovation and organizational success. The company architects its strategic agenda based on the capabilities and threats originating from a variety of technological advances. Google prioritizes technology as a main source of competitive advantage, which is evidenced by the enterprise investing billions in Internet-based innovations as well as proprietary technology. Google manages to profit off its existing dynamic infrastructure, which is set up specifically to leverage technological advancements. The enterprise does that with the help of its organizational culture, which encourages innovation, collaboration, and change. Google further integrates technology into its strategy by combining collective efforts of its employees with automation. Artificial Intelligence tools allow companies to make more informed and efficient decisions as the crowd’s intelligence is refined by machine (Verhulst, 2018). Thus, it is evident that the most important aspect of Google’s strategy is arguably the fact that the strategy is inseparable with technology.
When discussing Google’s Research and Development (R&D) management, it is crucial to note that Google is a horizontal company. The enterprise has fixed R&D budgets, which secures a link between profitability and market share. What distinguishes R&D management at Google from other companies is the fact that Google actually combines research and development (Spector et al., n.d.). By connecting the two, the organization facilitates an opportunity to take advantage of both an extensive infrastructure and an immense user base. Consequently, R&D staff can not only conduct innovative research but test the potential of a certain new development. Combining research and development into one is a crucial part of Google’s managerial strategy, which maximizes a new product’s commercial capabilities, while minimizing the number of potential drawback during the process of transferring an idea from research into practice.
Patents and Intellectual Property
As any big technology corporation, Google expresses commitment to building a sizable patent portfolio. Industrial giants worldwide are concerned with protecting their intellectual property, yet, as of recently, tech enterprises have joined the ranks of corporations fighting for securing their innovative products. According to May (2016), possessing a diverse patent portfolio is exceptionally important to the company as it prioritizes innovation and market disruption. Google continues to add more patents to its portfolio, amounting to thousands of new patents granted to the company annually.
Google has a long history of disrupting the market as it regularly introduces ground-breaking technologies. The company shifts the business landscape by producing applications and offering services that are distinctly different from anything else currently available (Wallace, 2019). Two of the most notable examples of Google’s disruptive technologies as of recently are the Chromebook and Google Cardboard. The Chromebook meets the needs of millions of consumers by offering a product free of any additional frills besides the hardware and software needed to do simple tasks online. Google Cardboard, on the other hand, is exceptionally disruptive since it is a one-of-a-kind innovative product that has no alternatives in the technology market.
Assessing the Firm’s Innovation Capability
As for the assessment of Google’s innovation capability, it is apparent that the company is one of the most innovative ones in its sector. The enterprise organizes its operations in a way that fosters continuous innovation. The fact that Google’s senior leadership is not only accepting of but prone to changes is another indicator of Google’s innovation prowess. Kim (2020) indicates that a major part of Google’s investment is allocated towards building the infrastructure, which would maximize the number of possibilities for innovation. He adds that the “scope of Google’s dimension of innovation process is somewhat wider than that of other IT companies” (Kim, 2020, p. 17). Google is a true pioneer in terms of innovation, which is evidenced by its commitment to setting up an environment suitable for generating novel ideas.
Technology Life Cycles
Google’s expertly-crafted infrastructure facilitates an environment suitable for executing the entirety of the technology lifecycle. The first stage is prototyping, which is done right on the platform, offering users an opportunity to engage with prototypes. If any of them become particularly popular, teams at Google prepare beta versions to further examine customer responses. Google’s capabilities allow it to market, develop, and test products simultaneously. Thus, Google managed to differentiate itself in terms of technology life-cycle since it makes users a crucial part of product development.
Managerial and Sociological Approaches to Management of Technology and Innovation
In regards to the managerial and sociological approaches to crafting innovation and technology strategies at Google, it is evident that the company emphasizes identity-challenging innovations. Such innovations allow Google to succeed and make profits in an environment characterized by sporadic changes. As such, Google adopts a process-based ideology, which guides its managerial and sociological decision-making (Garud & Karunakaran, 2017). Google’s model implies the prioritization of employee loyalty, which is achieved by ensuring the staff shares a set of deeply held beliefs about the organization.
Innovation and technology at Google are managed through participative experimentation. Three approaches allow to facilitate participative experimentation, including prototyping (technological), reflection-through-action (managerial), as well as collective engagement (sociological). The technological approach enables Google employees to actualize their ideas even if they cannot be easily described. The managerial approach “locates innovation rights at the scene of action, thereby distributing it across employees” (Garud & Karunakaran, 2017, p. 24). Lastly, the sociological approach allows to combine individual efforts to ensure ideas are scalable.
Garud, R., & Karunakaran, A. (2017). Process-based ideology of participative experimentation to foster identity-challenging innovations: The case of Gmail and AdSense. Strategic Organization, 16(3), 1-31. doi:10.1177/1476127017708583
Kim, H. (2020). The analysis of innovation management in Google Journal of Economics and Management Sciences, 3(4), 10-19. doi:10.30560/jems.v3n4p10
May, B. (2016). Explaining Google’s patent strategy. Modern Counsel.
Spector, A., Nerving, P., & Petrov, S. (n.d.). Google’s hybrid approach to research. Google Use Content.
Verhulst, S. G. (2018). Where and when AI and CI meet: exploring the intersection of artificial and collective intelligence towards the goal of innovating how we govern. AI & Society, 33, 293–297. doi:10.1007/s00146-018-0830-z
Wallace, D. (2019). Google – King of disruptive technology. Infographic Journal.